Chris Perez took little time getting to the big leagues and now finds himself in a familiar role, closing out ball games. Perez will compete this spring for the St. Louis Cardinals' closer position. A sample from the linked USA Today article.
"It's too early right now," Perez, a former IMG Academy baseball program player, said on Thursday, as he made his way across the backfields to the Cardinals clubhouse in Jupiter, Fla. Even the first few spring games probably won't tell much, he added.
"The end of March, that's when it is really going to start heating up."
Perez, 23, entered spring as the likely front-runner in a four-way battle with Ryan Franklin, Jason Motte and Josh Kinney for the position.
Perez was the 41st pick in the 2006 draft. He began last season with Triple-A Memphis before being called up in mid-May. He appeared in 41 games, saving seven of them and posting a 3.46 ERA.
The former University of Miami closer and IMG Academy baseball program alum has electric stuff which makes him dominant at the end of a game. Featuring a 98 mph fastball and a devastating slider, command is the only thing holding Chris back at this point.
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